Publié le 05/12/2021

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Greek The god of war; son of Zeus and Hera. Eris (Discord) was his sister and constant companion. Ares was not a popular god. A vicious crowd followed him, among them Pain, Panic, Famine, and Oblivion. His sons, Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror), prepared his chariot. Thus were the horrors of war symbolized. Although usually identified with the Roman god of war, Mars, Ares bore little resemblance to the noble Mars. The grisly followers of Ares, Zeus's hatred of him, and the humiliation and defeats that plagued him all symbolized the horror that the Athenians felt toward Ares, the personification of senseless war and brutality. For them, war was to be waged only for a good and noble reason. For Ares, war did not have to have any reason at all for he liked battle and violence for their own sakes. Ares, the Unloved God Ares, god of war, was bloody and brutal. Even his father, Zeus (in Homer's Iliad), declared that he hated his son for his perpetual violence and aggression. Ares was not always successful in battle and was often thought of as cowardly and inept. Helped by the wisdom of the goddess Athene, Diomedes (1), one of the heroes at the siege of Troy, defeated Ares. Athene, although a goddess of war and half-sister of Ares, despised Ares's behavior. She wounded him so that he was forced to leave the field, bellowing with rage and pain. On another occasion, Ares was severely wounded by Heracles, with whom he fought in defense of his son, Cycnus. The brother of Ares was Hephaestus, the smith god. Hephaestus defeated Ares not in violent battle, but by using his subtle cleverness. Otus and Ephialtes, known as the Aloeids, also despised Ares. They managed to imprison him in a bronze jar, where he remained trapped for 13 months until the god Hermes found him and released him. This myth is thought to symbolize a historical 13- month truce between two warring tribes of ancient Greece when warlike tokens of these nations were sealed in a bronze jar and kept inside a temple. Ares and Aphrodite Ares was not a popular god, but Aphrodite, fickle goddess of love, perversely favored the warlike god over her gentle husband, Hephaestus. Helios (the Sun), who saw everything, discovered that Ares and Aphrodite were lovers, and informed Hephaestus of this. Hephaestus, famous for his skills and artistry in metal-working, created a golden net so fine that it was invisible. He placed it on the couch where he knew Aphrodite and Ares would lie; then he announced that he was going for a few days to Lemnos, one of his favorite retreats. As soon as he had gone, Aphrodite summoned Ares, and the two 16 Arcadia lay upon the couch. Then Hephaestus, with a crowd of the Olympian Gods and goddesses, burst in upon them. Ares and Aphrodite tried to leap up but became hopelessly entangled in the invisible golden net. The gods and goddesses delighted in this scene, laughing and pointing and making crude remarks. Thus was Ares made to look ridiculous to all. It was a subtle revenge for Hephaestus. This story is told in Homer's Odyssey.